News Karnataka
Tuesday, November 30 2021

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My desire is to well-educate my children: Auto driver Venkatappa

Dubai: The sixth episode of Subalterns by Village TV Trust, Mangaluru and St. Loyola College, Bengaluru, was held on Friday October 22 at 4.30 pm IST.

With the objective of ‘P2P – Local to Global’, the show is aimed at providing a platform for unheard young voices of the society and thus create a supportive environment.

The programme host was Spearhead Media Group Mentor and Advisor CA Valerian Dalmaida, and the Co-host was Kiran Nirkan. The weekly programme is in Kannada.

In the beginning of the programme host Kiran Nirkan explaining the motto of starting ‘Subalterns’ said, “the new series has been started with an intention to provide a voice to the voiceless people, who belong to the marginalised communities of the society. As a part of the decennial celebrations of NewsKarnataka, we have undertaken this initiative.”

Speaking further he welcomed all the participants of the talk show series.

Kavya, and Shashank were the participants and the special guests. Kavya is the daughter of Venkatappa and Parvati. Her father is an autodriver. Shashank is the son of Siddarajachar and Kalavathi. His father is also an auto driver.

Auto driver Venkatappa said, “I am riding the auto since 10 years, but it is hardly to earn a decent living for the family. Back then, the minimum auto charge was Rs. 13, and I used to earn Rs. 700 to 800 a day. However, now as the City roads are not proper, the fuel does not last as estimated. Thus, we can’t fulfill our daily need.”

“During Corona lockdown, the government provided Rs. 8,000 for auto drivers but it is not enough for us to lead the family. Not only this during demonetisation no one come forward to ride in the auto so we suffered for about 5 to 6 months. I don’t have any desire rather than educate my children,” he said.

Venkatappa’s daughter Kavya said, “my objective is to get a good job and fulfill our family needs.”

Venkatappa’s wife Parvati said, ”I used to work in some houses as a maid as we approximately need Rs. 5000 to run our family.”

Dr. Kumaraswamy Bijjihalli, head of the Kannada Department in Loyola College, Bengaluru said that Subalterns is a wonderful programme. Loyola College has many students who belong to such marginalised families. Our college gives admissions to the students of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Ahinda and all the marginalised communities. We are very happy that NewsKarnataka has come forward and given a platform to express their woes.

He said, ”physical labourers are always exploited by the upper class and that is the reason why they have inferiority complex. To fill this gap the government should take the responsibility and fulfill the needs of the downthrowden class.”

Further he said, ”auto drivers will get dignity only through economic fulfillment. Auto drivers are leaving the profession but it is not good sign for healthy society. The system has to change and not the profession. Fither, auto drivers’ associations too have failed to uplift their brethren.”

“Another point we have to note is the gender discrimination and it is a deep-rooted problem of our society. In many situation, women will take up the family responsibility far better than the men. But yet we in the family do not respect women,” Dr. Bijjihalli added.

Raksha Deshpande

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